A former Socceroo and his nephew have been sentenced to community-based orders for illegally importing fitness supplements into the country because "they could not be bothered undertaking the administrative requirements" to obtain approval.
Sebastian Giampaolo, 62, and his nephew Dominic Giampaolo, 24, faced sentencing in the ACT Supreme Court on Friday after the former pleaded guilty to seven charges and the latter pleaded guilty to five.
The charges comprised offences of using false documents to dishonestly influence public officials and causing false or misleading documents to be provided to a government department.
The older of the pair committed his offences for about three years from April 2015 while it was a little less than two years for the younger Giampaolo.
The court heard Sebastian is a director of a company called Elite Distributors while Dominic is its "international imports officer", which Justice John Burns on Friday described as "an important-sounding title ... but the reality was he was not a director or other officer of the company".
The business buys, imports and distributes nutritional supplements, selling them online and in stores.
While it holds a number of permits to import different products, agreed facts tendered to the court state the company brought some fitness supplements into the country by failing to disclose them.
During the offending period, the pair gave false or misleading documents to a broker, knowing those documents would then be provided to the federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
"As a result of [the pair's] conduct, the department approved the release of imports to Elite Distributors, in which various products would have otherwise not been released, had the correct information been provided," the facts state.
Justice Burns said that while each offence was deliberate and had planning, they were committed because the Giampaolos "could not be bothered undertaking the administrative requirements to have the materials approved for importation".
"The Crown has also not alleged that the materials imported actually created a biosecurity hazard, although the potential for such a hazard must always exist when materials are imported without appropriate oversight and authorisation," he said.
Justice Burns said the importation subject to the charges were only some of Elite Distributors' importation during the offending period.
He said his sentencing considered the pair not having criminal histories, family relationships, consistent employment, early guilty pleas, low risk of reoffending, good prospects of rehabilitation and limited need for personal deterrence.
The judge also said Sebastian's role as uncle to Dominic had impacted the younger Giampaolo's moral culpability.
"I do not suggest that his uncle coerced him into committing those offences, but as a senior family member, his uncle was a person likely to shape the way in which Dominic Giampaolo approached his duties," Justice Burns said.
He said the need for community deterrence was relevant, particularly as "they are offences that are difficult to detect".
Sebastian was sentenced to a fully suspended jail term of 11 months from July 2 and placed on a good behaviour order for two years.
He was also ordered to undergo 200 hours of community service.
Dominic was sentenced to a good behaviour order of 15 months and 100 hours of community service.
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